Returning to a topic close to my heart (well, the cholesterol is at any rate), I'd like to start this food of the weird round-up with an intriguing piece of recent research that chocolate milk may, in fact, be a better "sports drink" than many sports drinks. In trials conducted by scientists from James Madison University on thirteen college football players, low-fat chocolate milk outperformed commercial high-carbohydrate recovery drinks, with tests showing lower levels of kinases associated with muscle strain. Though equally effective as a training aid, chocolate milk is unlikely to replace sideline "energy" drinks like Gatorade anytime soon. Which is a pity, if nothing else, a switch to chocolate milk would enliven the coach's traditional "post-game shower" (Net Doctor).
Of course, the athletic benefits of chocolate could only be improved by adding a protein supplement, right? Well not if, as alleged by one Tampa Bay business, that extra protein came in the form of an infestation of moths. Wholesaler "Mar-Len Confections" and retailer "Chocolates by Michelle" are currently suing one another over the fate of a shipment of $4500 worth of chocolate supplied by the former. According to Michelle Palisi, owner of the eponymous business, the chocolate was contaminated with live moths, meaning she not only had to throw out the shipment and replace it, but also had to hire an exterminator to eradicate the moths and clean the building. Wes Niedecken, owner of Mar-Len, disputes this, blaming poor pest control on the part of Palisi. The moths themselves are not unusual, and candy - especially chocolate - is a particular favourite of caterpillars. Fortunately for the consumer, the FDA has strict rules in place... no more than 60 insect parts per 100 grams of chocolate (St. Petersburg Times).
Also coming up for a food related day in court is NC teen John Szwalla, who tried to hold up a convenience store... with a banana. The 17 year-old, now facing charges of attempted armed robbery, initially told staff at the Winston-Salem store that he had a gun, though the truth quickly became apparent when owner Bobby Rae Mabe and a customer managed to jump Szwalla and pin him to a chair. The would-be robber then tried to dispose of the evidence by, you guessed it, eating the banana. He was unable to dispose of the peel however and police later took it away as evidence. Recalling his harrowing experience Mabe said, "If he had had a gun he would've shot me, but he had a banana" (Sky News).
But while the humble banana might not be the weapon of choice, it can still make you money. At least, that's what banks in Davao in the Philippines think. Fresh from the success of sub-prime mortgages, banks are apparently eyeing banana plantations as the next big growth sector. One local bank plans to double its $27 million investment in bananas by the end of the year, citing growing demand. Said bank president Alex Buenaventura, "Banana has become the fabled duck that lays golden eggs" (Business Mirror).
While it's easy to mock, perhaps Mr. Buenaventura enthusiasm mightn't be quite the joke it first appears. Banana imports to Japan have leapt over 25% in just a few months on the back of a new diet craze, the "Morning Banana" diet. Initially aired on a social networking site, this new fad has already spawned four bestselling books and a raft of TV endorsements, with public and celebrities alike lining up to show off their new - banana-induced - bodies. As for the diet, it is simplicity itself, just eat bananas for breakfast, and nothing else, then enjoy whatever you want for lunch and dinner (Inventor Spot).
In January 2009 a company called Ozaki (which usually makes stuffed animals) made an ipod dock with speakers that had Barack Obama attached to it dancing and singing. I don't know why they decided to put pink fabric on it though.
I know you've had this thought at least once... you and your friends are sitting around, drinking a few brewskis (or shooters or whatever it is you drink). One of your friends says something completely off the wall and you think, "that'd be a great band name." Oddly enough, that is how some of the best known bands get their names. Other bands have their names chosen for them by record producers or managers (how boring). In the end, how a band gets its name seems to be as different from one band to the next as their various playing styles. Here is a comprehensive list, in alphabetical order, of some of the most popular bands in recent history and where their names come from. I admit that the list itself is not particularly weird, but the way some of the bands ended up with their current names definitely is.
Rob Spence, a filmmaker in Canada, who lost his right eye has now replaced that eye with a camera. Engineer Kosta Grammatis designed a video camera and transmitter that would fit into a prosthetic eye. Just think of all the possibilities. Waring: video does contain a very brief scene of eye surgery in the beginning. Eyeborg
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.